I am grateful for the technology that allows us to communicate. To see each others’ faces, hear each others’ voices. To blog. To find out about important guidelines and events. To access classes and teach classes and hold meetings and share resources. To hold seders and family dinners and happy hours. We need this, all of this, so much. It’s amazing and delightful in so many ways.
And yet. My eyes hurt. My vestibular system is confused. I’m sitting. I have a headache. My shoulders are rounded forward.
I can’t feel changes in the feel of a room. Vibes don’t travel over the internet so well. Everything smells the same. Voices are muffled; cues are lost. My laptop doesn’t love me back.
I see patients in the clinic (a few) and on videochat (a few more). I know the telehealth is the right thing to do, that it helps people, that it provides access. But as I’ve experienced with teaching online– something is lost, and it’s something that’s hard to measure or define. There is something about human connection that occurs in person that isn’t translating into other channels, and I really, really miss it. For all the best practices we invent to cultivate presence, to remove barriers and perceptions of distance– human contact has yet to be replicated fully.
I’m glad to have the tools. We need them to carry out our lives in the ways we’ve constructed them. But. . . part of me wants to unplug, all the way, and just be where I am.